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Armenia Mapping & Research

"Civil Society. Dialogue for Progress" is carrying out research activities related to the general framework conditions of civil society organisations (CSOs) in Armenia. During 2013- 2014 research activities focused on country mappings assessing the environment in which CSOs function and operate in Armenia. In 2015, a new mapping study was carried out where CSO engagement in policy-making was analysed based on case studies - you can find it below in English and Armenian.


This mapping research aimed to find out find out the strategies and tools that CSOs in Armenia use to influence policy-making processes through description of specific cases (that is, advocacy campaigns), to analyze the key factors that contribute to advocacy campaigns and those that have served as an obstacle, as well as the relationship between these factors, and to compare application of the same approaches and tools by different organizations in different contexts. In addition, the study attempted to find out the impact that the selected campaigns had in the relevant areas and the factors contributing/hindering the sustainability of the campaign outcomes.

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ARMENIA MAPPING STUDY: "Civil Society Organizations' Engagement In Policy-Making And Monitoring Of Policy Implementation: Needs And Capacities"

The study aims to identify and analyse civil society actors' needs and capacities to get involved in policy dialogue, as well as the way in which these actors can contribute to specific sectors’ policy dialogues. Desk study of a number of publications and researches in CSO field, and analysis of data from empirical research conducted in the first quarter of 2014 were utilized for producing the report. The research consists of quantitative and qualitative components, including the results of interviews with 150 CSOs and 12 focus group discussions with local and international CSOs, state representatives, and experts in CSOs field.

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Presentation of mapping research results

Under the title "CSO Engagement in Policy-Making and Monitoring of Policy Implementation: Needs and Capacities" presented by experts in Yerevan, March 2015

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This study is conducted by Yerevan Press Club and the Secretariat of the Armenian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum with the support of the project “Civil society dialogue for progress” financed by the European Union. The goal of the study is to enhance the civil society (CS) participation in policy dialogue as an essential element to insure democratic, transparent and accountable policy making processes.

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Summary Conclusions

According to the study CSOs in Armenia include public organisations, foundations, legal entities unions, as well as non-formal groups and movements. There are over 5,200 public organizations, foundations, and legal entities unions registered as of October 2014, while experts estimate only 15 to 20 percent of registered or- ganizations to be active. Many organizations are present only on paper, as many CSOs discontinue their activities after their projects are finished.

About half of registered CSOs are located in Yerevan, and the other half is almost evenly distributed among regions, with more CSOs in Shirak, Lori, Ara- rat and less in Aragatsotn and Vayots Dzor; rural CSOs compose a very small minority in Armenia while most of regional CSOs are located in central cities of regions. According to survey data, CSOs included in the sample are mostly active in the sectors of education, community development, social services, humanitarian assistance, and youth issues. More than one third of CSOs are active on the national level, while the number of regional and community- based CSOs accounts for almost the half of the sample.

A special attention in the study is given to non-formal civic groups, which have recently gained a significant place in policy dialogue. Non-formal civic groups developed considerably after 2008, mostly in the sectors of ecology and public space protection. Civic activism is more notable in Yerevan, while there are also many active groups on community and regional levels that are not much covered by media and social networks. Many community groups have been established in the framework of international programs. 

In conclusions of the research it is stated that the political, economic, and social environment in Armenia is not very favourable for smooth CSO operation. Corruption is considered to be the most significant factor influencing Armenian civil society, along with widespread poverty, social and economic crisis, as well as social/economic inequality. Joining the Eurasian Economic Union is viewed by many CSOs as threatening sign to further developments in CSO regulations. At the same time, CSOs assess the existing environment as a challenge for their work and stimulus to multiply their efforts in creating positive changes in the country.

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